Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City (NSWC PC) is busy preparing to host the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Performance Demonstration, called AUV Fest, on June 4-16, 2007. These events started in 1997, and are hosted at 18 month intervals or so. NSWC PC’s AUV Fest 2007 Coordinator Phil Bernstein said that this AUV Fest is expected to draw more than 100 teams from government, industry, academia, and foreign military, bringing in excess of 80 unmanned vehicles equipped with a variety of sensor packages. He believes this will be the world’s largest-ever in-water unmanned systems demonstration.
Underwater mines will be a particular focus of AUV 2007, and cooperative behavior will be another area of special interest. the center of operations will be conducted from NSWC PC’s Littoral Warfare Research Facility, but would also involve coordination with multiple facilities located throughout Naval Support Activity Panama City. AUV 2007 will operate from the Joint Gulf Test Range; there will be a total of 14 operational areas in St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico involved in deploying and testing Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).” See US Navy Newsstand release.